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5N/6D Trip to Switzerland in July 2017

I am planning a 5N/6D trip to Switzerland with my wife and two kids (7 yrs and 4 yrs) in the last week of July 2017.
we will be arriving from London to Zurich around 10 am at the airport on Day 1 and will have a flight back from Zurich around 1pm on Day6. Intending to cover the below, appreciate if the forum members can enlighten me on the questions that follow.

  1. Zurich
  2. Interlaken
  3. Mt.Titlis
  4. Jungfraujoch
  5. Lucerne
  6. Bernina Train OR Glacier Express

1. Are we aiming for too high especially given that we are accompanied by 2 kids ( 7 and 4)?
2. If it too much which place should be give up on?
3. What would be the best place to base at from logistics point of view?
4. I notice that hotel prices in Zurich are typically lower than that in Lucerne. Is that true? Or I am misguided by online portals/making a mistake here?
5. What would be the best itinerary? Better if it allows a day without travel in between.
6. Which mountain train should be do - Bernina or Glacier and which segment given other preferences?
7. Rail passes - should we consider any? If yes, which one?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
1423 posts

I would recommend you spend your first 3 nights in the Berner Oberland, staying in Lauterbrunnen, Murren, or Wengen. Then spend your last two nights in Lucerne. You can easily catch your flight home from Lucerne as it has a direct rail link to the Zurich airport (2x per hour/70 minutes). Zurich itself is pleasant enough, but it doesn't have the mountain scenery it seems you and most visitors are aiming for.

Lucerne is delight to explore. You can also take half-day trips to the Pilatus and Rigi peaks. The kids might enjoy Pilatus more since it has a summer luge ride up there that is a blast. The Transportation Museum in Lucerne is something else the kids might enjoy. You can also take a full-day trip to Titlis. And cruises on the lake are very nice.

In the Berner Oberland you can take mountain peak trips up to the Schilthorn via a cable car, or take a cogwheel train from Brienz up to the Rothorn. And of course, there is the Jungfraujoch. The altitude up there might bother young children but you know your kids better than anyone. Also near Brienz is an open-air museum focusing on Swiss culture. Kids and adults may like that one. Biking in the Lauterbrunnen valley is super enjoyable since it's flat, not much traffic, and the views can't be beat. Interlaken has this weird "Mystery" theme park. I've not been but kids might like it. And there are lots of easy family-oriented hiking in the area, as well as challenging trails for adults.

You should definitely consider a Swiss Pass. You would need one for yourself and your spouse, but your kids would included as long as they are listed on the ticket. See here for details.

Posted by
8889 posts
  • For 5 nights, do not plan more than two locations (3N+2N or vice-versa).
  • You also have Titlis in the wrong order, it is near Luzern and should be a day trip from there.
  • Do not stay in Interlaken, instead stay in one of the smaller places further into the Berner Oberland: Grindelwald, Mürren, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen etc.
  • Do not stay in Zürich, it is a waste of a good day.
  • I do not think you have time for Bernina Train or Glacier Express. Bernina Train is the wrong end of Switzerland, and Glacier Express is east-west, which involves a long loop back.

My plan:
1) Land Zürich, straight to Berner Oberland by train (2h20 to Interlaken + 50 Mins = 3h10 to Mürren, arrive at hotel ~14:00). Stay 3 nights.
2) Train to Luzern. This is the Brünig pass line, which forms part of the "Golden Pass" route, Switzerlands 3rd famous tourist train. Stay 2 nights.
Day trip up Titlis. Day trip on a lake boat.
3) Train direct from Luzern (70 mins.)
I would normally suggest Luzern first, but your 11:00 departure is just a bit too early to get from the Berner Oberland to the airport in time.

Passes: probably a Swiss pass, as this includes all your travel during the day (trains+boats+buses) and gives a discount on cable cars up mountains (Titllis etc.)

For train times see:

This should be a good trip for your 2 kids, lots of walking, looking at stonking mountains, and trips up them.

Posted by
444 posts

Listen to Fast Eddie and Chris F, slow down to two places.

We have two kids. On our first trip to Gimmelwald, our oldest was 7 and she loved the Children's Adventure Trail from the playground above Murren. Our seven year old had to be pulled away from the playground. She loved the tunnels and zip line. The following year we walked the North Face Trail and it was amazing.

I love Wengen and Murren in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Murren is more touristy but it has better access to hiking. We loved the North Face trail from the top of the Funicular back down to Murren. It is an easy hike, grab sandwiches at the Coop grocery store in town before heading out.

Hiking trail info for adults with kids.

Posted by
2 posts

FastEddie, Chris F and csu15269,

Thanks for your advice. The places I mentioned were not in any particular order, rather just a wish list for the trip. Nor do I intend to stay a night in each of the places. In fact, if possible I'd like to base just in one location, say Luzern or Zurich and then do day trips to all other places.

Chris F, do you think that's possible if we alter the plan proposed by you a bit? Also, if I have to squeeze in any one of Bernia or Glacier express, what else should I give up on?


Posted by
1423 posts

Ah, I see. If you want to base in just one place, then it should be Luzern. From there you could easily visit Zurich and Titlis (plus Rigi and Pilatus) as day-trips.

However, visiting the Jungfraujoch and other Berner Oberland sights will make for a long day-trip. Luzern to Interlaken is 2 hours by rail. Interlaken to the Jungfraujoch is another 2 hours or so. And keep in mind the Jungfraujoch is best visited as early in the day as possible because it tends to cloud up by the afternoon even if it's still sunny in the valley.

You may want to consider basing in Luzern for 3 nights and in Wengen for 2 nights (or vice versa) to be fresh as a bunny when tackling the Jungfraujoch and other Berner Oberland sights.